About I Love My Bike
I Love My Bike written by Simon Mole and illustrated by Sam Usher is a picture book about a daughter learning to ride a bike with the help of her father. It’s also about that exhilarating feeling you get when you succeed at something for the first time as a child. And, most importantly, it’s about learning that when you fall off, the best thing to do is get back on again!
The story is told through wonderful watercolours from critically acclaimed artist Sam Usher, with words from children's poet Simon Mole.
Read or watch the story with your child and try the activities below together. They will give you the chance to talk to your child about family relationships, being outdoors and writing poetry.
Activities around I Love My Bike by Simon Mole
Watch the video
Take a look at this video to see the author Simon Mole read along with the story.
Read a Q&A with Simon
Why did you decide to write the book? Where did the idea originally come from?
I’ve loved bikes all my life, but nothing prepared me for quite how brilliant it has been introducing my children to cycling. Watching them race (or wobble) off unaided for the first time was a moment up there with their first steps and first words for me.
How did your background as a poet influence the writing of the book?
As well as wanting to tell the story clearly, I really wanted the sounds and the rhythm of the words to reflect the rhythms of riding a bike in some way. So much of my poetry over the years has been written to perform, and I think that’s partly why I’ve enjoyed writing picture books too – the whole idea with picture books is that they will be read aloud, and that connection between grown ups and children exploring a book together is really special. Bedtime stories is one of my favourite times of day with my kids, so it’s been incredibly exciting to think of other families enjoying something I’ve written!
You run a lot of poetry workshops for children and families. Any suggestions for a fun creative activity to follow up reading I Love My Bike?
After I had read the book to my children for the first time, we had some fun thinking about what our ‘dream bikes’ might look like.
I wanted a bright green frame with purple spots, and my son wanted one with sparkly tiger stripes. You could think about what colours and patterns you’d choose, but you could also add a basket, a bell, or a turbo booster! Your dream bike doesn't have to be realistic, so if you'd like to include enough seats for all of your friends or an ice cream machine on the side then go for it!!
Once you’ve come up with some ideas, you could draw your dream bikes and add labels, or work together to write a few sentences describing them.
If you’re looking for a longer guided activity, I made a step by step workshop video for Hay Literary Festival inspired by the book which you can access for free, and will I think be included below this Q&A…
What’s next for you?
Very excitingly, the little girl who stars in I Love My Bike will be appearing again soon in a sequel called I Love My Cat – I have just seen the finished illustrations (which are again by Sam Usher) and they are absolutely incredible!
Try these activities
Have a go at some fun and silly games with Simon! Spin the word wheel to unlock your poetry power, and be supported (without stabilisers) to write a poem of your own in five simple steps.